Two years until New York City’s next mayoralty election, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s job approval rating has declined. To compound problems for de Blasio, support among his base has dropped, 9 points among African American voters and 12 points among Latino voters. Of note, the racial divide which has underscored views about, both, Mayor de Blasio and the city still exists, but that gap is less pronounced than in the past.
Mayor de Blasio’s approval rating among registered voters citywide stands at 38%, down from 44% in May. With the exception of Queens and Staten Island where de Blasio’s approval rating has inched up slightly, 33% to 37%, the mayor’s approval rating has fallen citywide. The most dramatic decline has occurred in Manhattan where 32% now rate de Blasio highly compared with 53% in the spring.
While de Blasio still scores higher among African American, 50%, and Latino voters, 37%, than white voters, 32%, Mayor de Blasio’s approval rating has fallen among both groups. Previously, the mayor received a 59% approval rating among African Americans and 49% among Latinos.
On the specifics of de Blasio’s job performance, the mayor has lost points on his handling of crime. Fewer than four in ten adults in the city, 39%, say they approve of his approach, and a majority, 51%, disapproves. In the previous Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist Poll, residents divided, 47% to 46%. On the issue of police and community relations, the mayor also receives low marks with 37% saying they approve of how he is handling the issue and 53% reporting they do not. Mayor de Blasio fares better on the issue of race relations where 48% of residents approve of the mayor’s approach. On education, residents divide with 42% reporting they approve of his handling and 45% saying they disapprove. New York City public school parents, 49%, are more likely to give Mayor de Blasio higher marks than residents, overall, on his handling of the schools.
Although his favorable score among registered voters has dipped from 59% to 52%, Mayor de Blasio remains well-liked. Of note, de Blasio’s positive score has declined 13 points among Latinos and 16 points among voters in Manhattan.
On the bright side for de Blasio, voters citywide think he is working hard as mayor, 60%, and believe he understands the problems facing the city, 56%. Despite a decline from 59% earlier this year, a majority of voters, 53%, still maintains the mayor cares about the average person, and a plurality, 47%, disagree that de Blasio cares more about keeping low-level offenders out of jail than protecting the public from crime.
However, the electorate divides, 46% agree to 48% who disagree, about whether or not de Blasio is a good leader for New York City. Previously, a majority, 53%, thought de Blasio was a strong leader for the five boroughs. Voters, 54%, also report de Blasio spends too much time debating his policies on the national stage and is not focusing enough attention on New York City. In the last poll, voters divided. 44% agreed he spent too much time on the national stage, and 46% disagreed. Overall, 37% of registered voters now think de Blasio is changing the city for the better, and 28%, up from 20%, believe he is changing it for the worse.
Fewer than four in ten voters, citywide, 38%, think the Big Apple is moving in the right direction. This is down from 45% in the spring and matches the lowest proportion of voters since January of 2011 to say New York City is on track. In addition, more residents, when compared with May, say the overall quality of life in New York City has gotten worse, 41%, since Mayor de Blasio became mayor, up from 33%.
What does this all mean for de Blasio? Nearly half of voters, 49%, say de Blasio does not deserve to be re-elected, and 42% think he does. This has flipped from the previous poll when a plurality of voters, 47%, reported the mayor deserved a second term, and 42% thought he did not.
Despite waning support for de Blasio, especially among his base, potential opponents are not well-known citywide and attract little support from Democrats. When matched against possible challengers for the 2017 Democratic primary, at present, Mayor de Blasio is the odds-on favorite. Even a slim majority of Latinos, among whom de Blasio has lost the most traction, supports him. Mayor de Blasio’s strength in a potential primary contest is significant with one exception. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. edges de Blasio among Democratic voters in the Bronx.
POLL MUST BE SOURCED: Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist Poll
“Looking ahead to a re-election campaign, there is no single potential opponent on the horizon poised to defeat the mayor,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “However, there is growing discontent among voters who have previously supported the mayor about the job he is doing.”
- 38% of registered voters citywide think de Blasio is doing either an excellent, 6%, or good, 32%, job in office. This is a 6 point drop in the mayor’s approval rating since May when he received 44%.
- While the proportion of white voters who approve of de Blasio’s job performance, 32%, is unchanged from the spring, fewer Latino voters and African American voters now give the mayor high marks. 37% of Latinos, down from 49%, and 50% of African Americans, down from 59%, approve of de Blasio’s job performance.
- By borough, the mayor has lost the most support in Manhattan. His approval rating in the borough is at 32%, down from 53%. In Brooklyn, 42% of voters, a drop from 49%, give the mayor good marks. 42% of those in the Bronx, a decline from 47%, approve of de Blasio’s job performance. Mayor de Blasio’s approval rating in Queens and Staten Island has increased slightly from 33% to 37%.
Mayor de Blasio on the Issues
Nearly half of residents, 48%, approve of how Mayor de Blasio is handling race relations in New York City. 40% disapprove. Half of the city’s white residents, 50%, are dissatisfied with the mayor’s job performance in this area in contrast to 60% of African Americans and 49% of Latinos who have a positive view.
Majorities of residents are unhappy with Mayor de Blasio’s handling of police and community relations, 53%, and crime, 51%. There is little change in perceptions of the mayor’s role when it comes to the police and city residents. However, earlier this year, residents divided about how the mayor approached the problem of crime in the city with 47% approving of his handling of the issue and 46% disapproving.
Mayor de Blasio has also lost support on how he is handling the city’s public schools. 42% currently approve, down from 47%. Still, nearly half of parents with a child in public school, 49%, approve of how he is tackling the issue.
Majority with Favorable View of de Blasio, but…
52% of voters, down from 59%, have a favorable view of de Blasio. 38% have an unfavorable one. Opinions of de Blasio among whites and African Americans are little changed. However, while more than six in ten Latino voters, 61%, have a positive impression of de Blasio, the proportion has declined from 74% in May.
Mayor de Blasio’s favorable rating has gone down citywide, except in Brooklyn. The most precipitous decline has occurred in Manhattan where 48% have a favorable opinion of the mayor, a 16 point change from 64% in the spring.
New York City voters attribute positive characteristics such as being a hard worker, understanding the problems facing the city, and caring about the average person to Mayor de Blasio. Additionally, they disagree that de Blasio emphasizes keeping low-level offenders out of jail at the expense of protecting citizens from crime.
However, there has been a decline in those who view the mayor as caring, as a good leader for New York City, and as a mayor who deserves to be re-elected. A majority now perceives de Blasio as spending too much time in the national spotlight.
When it comes to Mayor de Blasio’s overall impact on New York City, a plurality, 37%, says he is changing the Big Apple for the better, and 28% believe he is changing it for the worse. The proportion of those who believed the mayor was having a positive effect on the city in May was 40%. At that time only 20% thought he was making New York City worse.
Pessimism in New York City Grows
The proportion of New York City voters who think the city is moving in the right direction, 38%, is at its lowest since January 2011. Additionally, more than four in ten residents believe the overall quality of life in the Big Apple has gotten worse in the past year up from 33% last spring.
- 38% of voters, down from 45%, think the city is moving in the right direction, and a majority, 55%, says it is moving in the wrong one.
- Voters in Manhattan are the least optimistic. 31% of these voters report the city is moving in the right direction. This is a 19 point drop from 50% who had this view earlier this year.
- 41% of New York City residents think the overall quality of life in New York City has gotten worse in the last year, and 16% say it has gotten better. 19% believe it has stayed the same which is a bad thing, and 18% think it has remained the same which is a good thing. Three percent report the quality of life is about the same which is neither good nor bad.
- Whites, 51%, are more likely than African Americans, 37%, and Latinos, 39%, to think the quality of life in New York City has gotten worse.
- The proportion of whites who say the city’s quality of life has deteriorated has increased from 35%. And, there has been an 11 point increase in the proportion of African Americans and a 4% increase among Latinos who share this view.
- 42% of residents think the number of homeless, panhandlers, and mentally ill on the city’s streets have increased since de Blasio has become mayor. The same proportion, 42%, says the number has remained the same, and only 8% believe it has declined. Similar proportions of adults had these views in May.
- 60% of adults think the cleanliness of the subways has not changed since de Blasio became mayor. 15% say they are cleaner, and 15% report they are dirtier.
- Nearly six in ten residents, 59%, support the proposal to restrict costumed panhandlers in Times Square to designated areas. 32% oppose the plan.
Stop and Frisk Still Polarizing Issue
While 38% of residents want Mayor de Blasio to continue to reduce stop and frisk, 36% think the policy should revert to what it was during Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration. 16% think de Blasio should leave things the way they are now, and 10% are unsure.
About two-thirds of adults citywide have, at least, a fair amount of confidence in the New York City Police to keep them safe from violent crime.
- Nearly half of white residents, 49%, think stop and frisk should return to what it was during the Bloomberg years while 50% of African Americans and 42% of Latinos believe de Blasio should continue to reduce the policy. Still, 31% of Latinos and 24% of African Americans assert Bloomberg’s policy regarding stop and frisk should be reinstated.
- 66% of residents have either a great deal of confidence, 27%, or a fair amount of confidence, 39%, in the police to protect them from violent crime. This is up from 60% who had this view in the spring. 33% have either some confidence, 15%, or little confidence, 18%, in the NYPD to keep them safe.
- Whites, 82%, are more likely than African Americans, 59%, and Latinos, 50%, to have faith in the police to protect them. However, the proportion of African Americans with this view has increased from 49%. Latinos are little changed on this question.
- A majority of residents, 52%, supports drug treatment, not jail, for addicts who are repeat offenders and are convicted of a felony for drug dealing. 40% say these individuals should receive jail time.
De Blasio vs. Bloomberg
35% of city residents believe Mayor de Blasio is doing a worse job in office than former Mayor Bloomberg. One in four, 25%, says de Blasio is a better mayor than Bloomberg, and 35% believe there is little difference between the job performances of both mayors.
- A majority of whites, 56%, report de Blasio is a worse mayor than Bloomberg.
- Pluralities of African Americans, 45%, and Latinos, 40%, say de Blasio is doing about the same job as the former mayor in city hall.
Mayor de Blasio Bests Competition for 2017 Democratic Nomination
Mayor de Blasio currently does not face a formidable threat if he is challenged for his party’s nomination in 2017.
- If the 2017 Democratic primary for mayor were held today, de Blasio would receive 43% of the vote. New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James each receive 10%. Nine percent are for Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., 5% support Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and 4% are behind U.S. Representative Hakeem Jeffries. 20% of New York City Democrats are undecided.
- Among Bronx Democrats, Diaz leads de Blasio, 34% to 29%.
Just days after disgraced former New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer announced he would return to politics to run for New York City comptroller, he leads his opponent, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, by nine percentage points. Among registered Democrats in New York City, including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, if the Democratic primary were held today, Spitzer receives the support of 42% compared with 33% for Stringer. One percent is behind another candidate. A notable 24% are undecided.
POLL MUST BE SOURCED: NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll*
“Right now, New York City Democrats are willing to give Spitzer a second chance, but the big question is what happens after the shock value of his return to politics fades and the campaign for comptroller heats up,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Having just recently gone down a similar path with Anthony Weiner, Democrats may reach redemption overload for one or both of these candidates.”
While Spitzer leads Stringer among both men and women, he does slightly better among men.
- Among men who are Democrats, 44% are for Spitzer while 30% are for Stringer.
- 40% of women who are Democrats support Spitzer compared with 34% for Stringer.
Spitzer leads among African American and Latino voters. Stringer has the advantage among white voters.
- Among Democrats who are African American, Spitzer is favored by 50% while 25% support Stringer.
- Spitzer — 46% — outpaces Stringer — 29% among Latino Democrats.
- Stringer leads Spitzer among white voters, 46% to 32%.
The contest is fluid. In addition to the many undecided voters, just 39% of New York City Democrats say they strongly support their choice of candidate. 36% are somewhat behind their selection while 22% say they might vote differently. Two percent are unsure.
Spitzer’s supporters are more fervent in their support than are Stringer’s backers. 47% of those for Spitzer say they are strongly committed to their choice. This compares with 30% of Stringer’s supporters who say they will not waver in their commitment.
Among Democrats who are likely to vote in September’s primary for comptroller, including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, Spitzer has the backing of 44% compared with 36% for Stringer. One percent is behind another candidate, and 19% are undecided.
More View Spitzer Favorably than Stringer, But…
When it comes to Democrats’ impressions of the candidates, a plurality — 46% — has a positive opinion of Spitzer. 35% have an unfavorable view of him, and 19% are unsure. When Marist last reported this question in August 2010, two years after his resignation, New York City Democrats’ view of Spitzer was upside down. 45% of Democrats had an unfavorable impression of Spitzer. 38% thought favorably of him while 17% had either never heard of him or were unsure how to rate him.
Although Spitzer has a higher favorable rating than Stringer, Spitzer’s unfavorable rating is double that of Stringer. Among New York City Democrats, 40% view Stringer favorably while 17% have a lesser impression of the candidate. A notable 43% have either never heard of Stringer or are unsure how to rate him.
Many Dems Green Light Spitzer for a Second Go Around… 57% with Great Expectations for Comptroller Spitzer
Five years after Spitzer resigned amid revelations that he solicited prostitutes, about two-thirds of Democrats — 67% — believe Spitzer should be given a second chance in the political arena. Only 25% think Spitzer does not have the character to be the city’s next comptroller. Eight percent are unsure.
A plurality of New York City Democrats believe Eliot Spitzer has reformed. More than four in ten — 44% — say the former governor has changed as a person. 25% report he is the same Spitzer, and 32% are unsure.
On his merits, nearly six in ten Democrats — 57% — think Spitzer would do well as comptroller. Included here are 18% who think he would be excellent in the role and 39% who say he would do a good job as comptroller. 19% report he would perform fairly well in the post while 12% think he would fall short. 12% are unsure.
In the Big Picture, Does It Really Matter?
34% of Democrats think Spitzer’s scandal-plagued past will impact their vote for comptroller a great deal — 20% — or a good amount — 14%. 27% say it will matter only a little to their decision while 35% report it does not matter at all. Five percent are unsure.
Are Democrats focusing on the comptroller’s race? About two-thirds of Democrats — 65% — are not following the campaign intently. Included here are 44% who say they are not following it very closely and 21% who report they are not following the contest at all. Just 9% are tracking the comptroller’s race very closely while 26% are watching it closely.
The Lesser of Two Scandals?
When asked to weigh Spitzer’s previous salacious actions against those of former Congressman Anthony Weiner, there is little consensus about whose actions are considered to be more offensive. 31% consider Weiner sending lewd pictures of himself over the Internet to be more egregious while 29% think Spitzer’s involvement in a prostitution ring is more offensive. 19% report both are just as wrong while 13% believe neither politician’s actions are offensive. Nine percent are unsure.
Comptroller Spitzer Trumps Mayor Weiner
When asked whether New York City Democrats would prefer a Comptroller Spitzer or a Mayor Weiner, 38% say they would rather have a Comptroller Spitzer in office. 22% would prefer a Mayor Weiner while 15% would rather have neither. Eight percent would like both to be elected to their offices of choice. 17% are unsure.
Do Politicians Have a Skeleton in Their Closet?
Nearly three in four New York City Democrats — 72% — believe politicians have something to hide. This includes 40% of Democrats citywide who think all people who run for public office have a secret to hide and 32% who believe most politicians are keeping something under wraps. 20% report a few have something they want to keep secret, and only 3% think those who seek public office have nothing to hide. Five percent are unsure.
Bloomberg Approval Rating
46% of registered voters in New York City approve of the job Mayor Michael Bloomberg is doing in office. This includes 13% who believe the mayor is doing an excellent job and 33% who think he is doing a good one. 28% rate his performance as fair while 21% give Bloomberg poor grades. Five percent are unsure.
When the NBC New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll reported this question last month, 49% of voters praised Bloomberg’s performance. 31% believed he was doing an average job while 17% said his performance was subpar. Three percent, at the time, were unsure.
Direction of the City: Stay the Course, Says Majority
51% of registered voters in New York City believe the city is moving in the right direction. 35% think it is traveling on the wrong course, and 14% are unsure.
Last month, 52% of voters believed New York City was moving in the right direction while 37% reported it required a new trajectory. 11% were unsure.
Looking ahead to the 2013 Democratic primary for mayor, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has the support of 23% of Democrats citywide. Former City Comptroller Bill Thompson follows with 15%. Nine percent of registered Democrats citywide are for current Comptroller John Liu while 8% support Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. Six percent back Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer while the publisher of Manhattan Media, Tom Allon, receives 2%. Nearly four in ten registered Democrats in New York City — 37% — are unsure.
“There’s still a long way to go before Democrats go to the polls,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Nearly four in ten Democrats in the city are undecided.”
When compared with NY1-Marist’s April survey, more Democrats in the city are unsure about whom to support in the contest. At that time, more than three in ten New York City Democrats — 32% — favored Quinn. 12% supported Thompson, and 10% were for de Blasio. Liu received the backing of 9% while Stringer garnered 7%. Only 1% of Democrats were behind Allon, and 29% were unsure.
Plurality Says, “No Go” for Kelly Mayoralty
46% of registered voters in New York City do not want Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to run for mayor. 35% support a Kelly candidacy. 19% are unsure.
In NY1-Marist’s July 2011 survey, voters divided. 42% believed Kelly should stay out of the race while the same proportion — 42% — wanted him to throw his hat into the ring. 16%, at that time, were unsure.
Other well-known names have been bandied about as possible mayoralty candidates. How do they fare? 58% of registered voters citywide do not want Anthony Weiner to run for mayor while one in four — 25% — does. 17% are unsure.
There has been little change on this question since NY1-Marist last reported it in July of 2011. At that time, 64% of voters citywide did not want Weiner to seek the office while 26% did. One in ten, at that time, was unsure.
When it comes to Eliot Spitzer, 57% of registered voters want him to stay out of the contest while 30% would like to see him enter it. 13% are unsure. Here, too, there is little difference from the last time this question was asked in July of 2011. At that time, the same proportion — 57% — reported Spitzer should not run for mayor while 33% thought he should. Nine percent, then, were unsure.
What about actor Alec Baldwin? 66% of registered voters say they don’t want the actor to turn politician. 18%, though, would like to see Baldwin enter the contest. 16% are unsure.
Bloomberg Approval Rating Steady
45% of registered voters in New York City approve of the job Mayor Michael Bloomberg is doing in office. This includes 10% who say he is doing an excellent job and 35% who report he is doing a good one. 32% report his performance is fair while 20% call it poor. Only three percent are unsure.
When NY1-Marist last reported this question in April, 44% of registered voters gave Bloomberg high marks. Included here were 12% who said he was doing an excellent job and 32% who believed he was doing a good one. 33% gave the mayor average grades while 22% thought his performance was subpar. Only 1%, then, was unsure.
How will Mayor Bloomberg be remembered after he leaves office? 43% of registered voters believe he will leave a positive legacy. This includes 12% who think he will be remembered as one of the city’s best mayors and 31% who say he will be considered an above average mayor. 34% think Bloomberg will be thought of as an average mayor while 12% report he will be remembered as a below average one. Eight percent have low expectations and say Bloomberg will be considered one of the city’s worst mayors.
Little has changed on this question since April. At that time, 39% thought Bloomberg would leave a positive legacy behind. 39% said he would be considered an average mayor while 13% believed he would be looked upon as a subpar mayor. Nine percent, at that time, reported Bloomberg would be thought of as one of New York City’s worst mayors.
Majority Remains Optimistic about the Direction of the City
51% of registered voters citywide say the Big Apple is moving in the right direction. 38%, however, believe it is moving in the wrong one. 10% are unsure.
Here, too, the findings are similar to the NY1-Marist April survey when 52% thought New York City was on the right course. More than four in ten voters — 42% — said it was on the wrong one, and 6% were unsure.
According to this NY1-Marist Poll, if the 2013 Democratic primary for mayor in New York City were held today, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn would receive 20% of the vote while 16% would cast their ballot for Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. Former New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson is within striking distance with the support of 12% of Democrats. In this hypothetical contest, 10% are behind current Comptroller John Liu, 7% back Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer takes 6% of the vote. Publisher Tom Allon garners just 2%, and one in four Democrats — 25% — are undecided.
“With twenty-five percent of Democrats undecided and the field lacking a dominant top tier of candidates, this is a campaign story still to be told,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Those looking to succeed Mayor Bloomberg might welcome his support. But, if the numbers hold, don’t expect anyone to make his endorsement the centerpiece of their campaign.”
In NY1-Marist’s July survey, 16% of Democratic voters supported Quinn, 15% backed Thompson, and 14% were for Markowitz. Nine percent, at the time, were behind Liu, 7% said they would vote for de Blasio, and 6% thought they would cast their ballot for Stringer. Only 1% backed Allon, and 32% were undecided.
If Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz decides not to run for the office, Quinn and Thompson are neck and neck. Without Markowitz, 22% of Democrats are for Quinn followed closely by Thompson with 18%. John Liu receives 12%, Bill de Blasio nets 10%, and Scott Stringer garners 7% of the vote. Two percent back Tom Allon, and 28% are undecided.
What kind of influence could an endorsement by Mayor Michael Bloomberg have on a mayoral candidate? Nearly half of registered voters in New York City consider it the kiss of death. 48% report an endorsement by Bloomberg would make them less likely to vote for a candidate, 30% think it would make them more likely to vote for one, and 15% say it makes no difference to their vote. Only 8% are unsure.
Nearly half of Democratic voters citywide — 47% — report an endorsement by Bloomberg would make them less likely to vote for a candidate. 29% say it would make them more likely to support a candidate, and 17% think it would not make a difference. Six percent are unsure.